Hypotension can be equally dangerous as hypertension
Hypertension is an epidemic of the modern world, and when talking about problems with blood pressure, people usually refer to high blood pressure. Meanwhile, there are many people suffering the symptoms of low blood pressure, which is also a condition that can cause serious troubles.
By definition, the blood pressure is considered for low when systolic pressure is less than 90 and diastolic is less than 60. The underlying causes vary from benign, such as dehydration to some severe conditions that could be life-threatening. Low blood pressure means that the heart is either not pumping blood strong enough, or there is no enough blood for pumping. Either way, it results in all organs suffering due to insufficient blood and oxygen supply which leads to damage of tissues if it lasts long enough.
When low blood pressure persists as chronic, it usually doesn’t cause any serious consequence. The Much bigger problem happens in the acute fluctuation when the pressure drops suddenly depriving vital organs, brain on the top of all. This manifests as dizziness or any neurological sign and should be an alarm to explore the basis of the disorder.
How does it feel?
The brain is the most vulnerable organ that succumbs to significant damages if deprived of nutrition and oxygen for more than few minutes. Similar risk goes for the heart muscle itself. Other organs suffer too, but not all are equally sensitive. When the blood pressure drops rapidly, brain cells are the first one to trigger the alarm. The patients typically report dizziness, difficulty concentrating and blurred vision. If the pressure drops significantly, patients often collapse. Among other symptoms, nausea and vomiting, fatigue, pale skin, thirst and fast, shallow breathing are frequently determined. Some of these are signs of organs suffering and calling for help, and some belong to typical body’s reaction when feeling threatened.
What causes the pressure to drop and how low can it get?
Low blood pressure can even be a normal finding in some people. People who exercise a lot and are in a good shape tend to have lower blood pressure. Chronic low blood pressure without symptoms isn’t considered a problem. But there is a whole list of serious conditions characterized by low blood pressure that mustn’t be neglected. Some of the most common causes are pregnancy, heart problems, and dehydration. The dramatic consequence of dehydration and severe bleeding is so called hypovolemic shock which occurs when blood pressure drops drastically. Severe infections causing septicemia or intense allergic reactions causing anaphylaxis are also followed with significant BP dropping. Some endocrine problems, such as diseases of the thyroid gland may cause a decrease of tension.
How to know if you should see the doctor?
The major rule most doctors follow to treat patients and the way they feel instead of fixing findings and symptoms. So, if you feel fine, and your pressure reads low for a long period, you probably don’t need to be treated. But if your pressure drops suddenly, unexpected and without obvious cause, call for help. Also, if you are experiencing any of the symptoms of hypotension, even the mild ones, you should check it up.
Tips and advice for a self-help treatment
The serious decrease of pressure requires thorough diagnostic process and adequate medications. But the mild forms of the condition can be treated with changes in habits and life style. Some of the advice you can apply on your own include the use of more salt and water, wearing a compression stocking to help to return of the blood from lower parts of the body to the heart, avoiding alcohol and quick changing of body positions.